BPI: File-sharers finding alternatives to P2P

The BPI claims file-sharers are increasingly finding alternatives to peer-to-peer services from which to download music illegally.

BPI: File-sharers finding alternatives to P2P

Although the BPI survey of 3,442 British adults suggests there is no decrease in the level of peer-to-peer file-sharing, the music industry lobby claims people are turning to other online sources to find songs, such as newsgroups and illegitimate MP3 download stores.

The use of unlicensed foreign MP3 sites grew 47% in the past six months, according to the online survey, while newsgroup-related downloads grew by 42%. MP3 search engines (28% growth) and blogs and messageboards linking to online hoards of music (18%) were also becoming increasingly prevalent.

The survey suggests the music industry’s high profile clampdown on peer-to-peer sites may be driving people towards other means of illegal downloads, in a bid to avoid being caught.

It’s disappointing that levels of illegal P2P use remain high – BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor

The BPI is using the survey to justify renewed calls for a Government clampdown on illegal file-sharing. The Digital Economy Bill currently passing through Parliament proposes methods such as speed throttling and disconnection for persistent file-sharers, if measures such as warning letters fail to curb the levels of piracy.

“There are now more than 35 legal digital music services in the UK, offering music fans a great choice of ways to get music legally,” claims the BPI’s chief executive, Geoff Taylor.

“It’s disappointing that levels of illegal P2P use remain high despite this and the publicity surrounding imminent measures to address the problem. It’s vital that those measures come into force as quickly as possible.”

That view isn’t shared by some Parliamentarians. Earlier this week, Lord Erroll told PC Pro that the Government shouldn’t cut off file-sharers.

“There are 7.2 million people file-sharing, according to industry figures,” Lord Erroll stated. “If only one in ten have their broadband connection throttled back, that’s still an awful lot of people. I personally think that throttling connections and suspension should be removed from the bill.”

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